CITY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES: A LEADER IN CARDIAC CARE
(Wed., Feb. 15, 2012)—Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 residents in 2009. The difference between life and death can be a matter of minutes in the treatment and care of cardiac patients.
To provide a more seamless and efficient transition in transporting patients to hospitals, the City’s Emergency Medical Services Division partnered with the Queen’s MedicalCenter to implement an innovative tool to assist emergency cardiac patients on Oahu. Paramedics can send wireless transmissions of specific types of electrocardiograms (EKG) directly to the emergency department prior to the patient’s arrival.
“This information submitted wirelessly allows most hospitals on Oahu to cut time to definitive treatment, which in many cases, needs to be administered within 90 minutes of the onset of a severe myocardial infarction (heart attack). We have seen this technology and partnership with Queen’s MedicalCenter save lives,” said Dr. James Ireland, Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director. “We hope to expand our digital transmission systems capability and compatibility with hospitals island-wide.”
Another life-saving measure, mentioned in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal with a photo of a Honolulu ambulance, has been common practice in Honolulu since 1992. The City and County of Honolulu 911 Emergency Medical Dispatchers are trained to instruct bystanders by telephone how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, which has also been shown to increase a patient’s chance of surviving.
“Honolulu EMS continues to make strides to give the best and most up-to-date pre-hospital emergency medical care,” said EMS Chief Patty Dukes. “The bottom line is that immediate cardiac care including advanced life support before and during ambulance transport is now more critical than ever with the closure of Hawaii Medical Center East and West.”